Joao Paulo and Raul Ruidiaz scored early in the second half as the Seattle Sounders defeated the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 Saturday night.
The Sounders (8-3-3, 27 points), who won for the fourth time in their past five matches, regained sole possession of first place in the MLS' Western Conference.
The Sounders entered the weekend tied with Portland, but the Timbers' scheduled match Saturday against Colorado was postponed after multiple positive COVD-19 tests in the Rapids' organization.
The Whitecaps (5-10-0, 15 points), who played short-handed after midfielder Janio Bikel received a red card for a serious foul in the 68th minute, suffered their third consecutive defeat.
The Sounders scored three times in the opening 13 minutes after the intermission to pull away.
Paulo opened the scoring in the 46th minute. Cristian Roldan's cross from the right wing was knocked away by the Vancouver defense before being collected by Paulo about 25 yards out. He settled the ball and put a low shot just inside the left post, past outstretched goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
The Sounders made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute on an own goal by the Whitecaps' Erik Godoy. Roldan's cross was deflected by Meredith and went off Godoy's knee and into his own net from the top of the 6-yard box.
Ruidiaz increased the lead to 3-0 in the 58th minute with his team-leading ninth goal of the season. A corner kick by Nicolas Lodeiro was flicked on by Jordan Morris, and Ruidiaz was alone in front of the net, putting a header in from 2 yards out.
Vancouver avoided the shutout on former Sounder Fredy Montero's penalty kick in the 65th minute following a foul by Seattle's Yeimar Gomez Andrade.
Andrade, who knocked down Lucas Cavallini in the box, was originally shown a red card on the play but a video review reduced it to a yellow.
Meredith, a backup on Seattle's MLS Cup-winning team last season, was credited with seven saves for the Whitecaps. The Sounders' Stefan Frei was forced to make just one as Seattle outshot the visitors 22-3.